panic budget
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    Registered User tillergirl's Avatar
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    Default panic budget

    Hi there, further to my earlier post....

    It's been a long road.

    Now we have been bad, and have a line of credit to pay off.

    Family of five living on my meagre income, as Hub has had some health issues and is having problems finding employment in our rural area.

    Next pay is the 15th.

    I have $60 left in my grocery envelope (am low on lunch items for the kids), $70 in my gas envelope and $200 in my 'other' envelope to last.

    I have promised the kids a book each from the book order (will come to $30) instead of their allowance, which has been sporadic....
    Trying desperately to cut down /quit smoking...

    So how do I micro manage that remaining $200 in my 'other' envelope.

    Any help very gratefully received.

    Hugs to all xx

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    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    What will you need from that 200? Do you have expenses you know of already? Besides the book order? I say hold onto that money for as long as you can. Go buy some groceries and try not to spend anything else.

    My "other" category started as a $50 buffer, then it turned into a few dollars to offset my bank the rest and now it's actually our entertainment budget. When I was in gazelle mode paying off debt having too much in "other" just opened the door to spending more. Oh I'll just take it from other! And bam there goes my money and then some.

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    kids lunch items do they eat peanut butter egg salad make some homemade cookies all very inexpensive and will get you thru till the 15 do they take thermos or buy milk at school Are you eligable for free or reduced lunch at school? if you give more specifics it will be easier to help you Good Luck

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    Registered User NikoSan999's Avatar
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    I was going to ask if you qualified for the free or reduced lunch too.
    If you're that tight do you think you should be spending $30 for books? Can you take them to the library instead?
    With 5 people in the household do you qualify for foodstamps?
    Can you survive on your income alone? You didn't say. Ages of the kids.

    Smoking is expensive period and I know trying to quit or even cut back when you're stressed sucks so....

    When you're in really bad shape cutting out everything you possibly can sometimes is necessary. Electric, water, heat, air, gas/traveling anywhere you can.
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    What's "Other" include? I would also pilfer from this to buy groceries for the kids. When we started out we had a "Miscellaneous" envelope (still do) that covered things like postage, computer printer ink cartridges, paper, etc. That's all discretionary spending. Food, shelter, clothing are non-discretionary items - meaning you need them to live. They have top priority. Everything else comes after them.

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    Registered User tillergirl's Avatar
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    Hi all

    Thanks for your replies.

    Our school lunches are $3.50, and as far as I know there is no subsidy.
    They like peanut butter substitute, but that's all they will take for sandwiches !
    Sometimes a thermos, hot soup etc.

    Ages are 12, 9 and 7.

    I have already promised these books, so will have to bite the bullet. They certainly are not spoiled for treats...

    We are certainly struggling on my income, my gross annual is about $24,000, plus around 9,000 in child support from the government. It's doable, but we've been at this a long time. I didn't work for 10 years while staying with kids, and hubby had a low paying newspaper job....

    The ' other' envelope is just what I called it, as I just created 2 so far, for gas and groceries.
    We have quite a bit of food, and lots of chickens (home grown) in freezer. Some of our own eggs too...I make bread at weekends, and try to bake treats...

    Little in the way of 'luxury', our satellite TV, internet and phone are all separate as we cannot bundle in our rural area. May visit cinema once a year, and don't really 'go out'
    The occasional bottle of wine, but we have been making our own.

    We are on 65 acres in the country and grow veggies too....

    Hugs x

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    Moderator ladytoysdream's Avatar
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    I'd be telling the kids that treats are going to be less in number.
    You have 65 acres....find something extra to grow in the garden and then sell the extra. Let the kids be a big part of it, so they learn how to earn money.

    You might want to look at ebay or thrift stores for buying books second hand. Way too costly the way you are doing it now.

    Hubby and I raised 7 and now have grandchildren. All our kids and the grandkids hustle for that extra buck. Our kids and their spouses...they all work full time jobs. And then do things on the side for the extra $$.

    Just start thinking outside the box

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    Tillergirl: what about utilities and upcoming taxes and insurance? Have you considered not only monthly expenses, but yearly ones? It sounds like you need to track your expenses for a month or so and see where you're spending money and can cut back.

    Good luck quitting smoking. I see that was mentioned in a previous thread. It's hard. My son-in-law took three tries before he succeeded. He ended up seeing a psychologist as well as a doctor to help him. Ultimately he had to quit because my daughter is asthmatic and was quite sick whenever he smoked. He ended up going cold turkey.

    I agree you're in a great situation for growing and selling stuff...or making wine and selling it at a Farmer's Market or roadside stand...depending how rural you are!

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    Registered User Frugal Nurse's Avatar
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    Are you in the US?
    the USDA has a national school lunch program. NO CHILD SHOULD GO HUNGRY in the US. You should check with the school and get yourself on free or reduced lunch program.
    National School Lunch Program (NSLP) | Food and Nutrition Service

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    FN that is what i was going to say school lunches are a federal program and with her income she definately qualifys She should be able to get food stamps also . that would free money up for other things

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    I would not spend anything until I absolutely had to. Definitely check into free lunches for the kids and food stamps. With all your home grown food, food stamps would probably cover most of the "other" food you need to buy.

    If you are unable to quit smoking on your own, ask your doctor for help. Whatever it costs to quit will be more than saved by not buying cigarettes. My dh smoked for many years and I have to say both my kids and I resented like anything not having money for our extras because it went into his smoking.

    I agree the promise to the kids for books should have a priority even in this bad time. Just remember not to make such a promise in the future without qualifying it with "if we can afford it"!!!!!!!

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    Registered User tillergirl's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your great advice. We are in Nova Scotia Canada...if that helps, where groceries and gas are pretty huge parts of our budget.

    I do have my monthly expenses, as far as bills, nailed down. They are all paid online, on time on the 20 th of each month, from my 'extra' paycheck from the govt.

    House insurance is OTT, because we are rural, and have a wood furnace....

    Hubby is working on planning a big garden, and heading off to the farm markets to sell, as well as carving, writing and other sidelines.

    I feel much better, having read your posts...perhaps I was feeling a bit sorry for myself when I posted originally.

    Others are far worse off !

    Hugs again to you all.

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    Registered User mom2three's Avatar
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    Tillergirl,

    I live in PEI and food is even more expensive than in NS. The growing a bigger garden and selling produce plan sounds like a good one. Are you buying other meat direct from farmers? Do you cook with legumes at all? We grew up on lots of stews and beans and our own farm raised meat and such. I don't know how may parents would have fared without us raising our own meat. I used to earn lots of cash working for local farmers (picking strawberries, corn, peas, beans, tomatoes, etc.) or you could get your kids involved in all the garden stuff so they can earn their own cash. Can you swap satellite TV for Netflix and would it save you money? Do you can at all? Do you have a larger freezer to blanch and freeze your excess? Or freeze extra meals/baking? My FIL (in Halifax) had a hard time quitting smoking as well - he went to accupuncture finally and was successful.

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    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    Hi tillergirl - I know in the states sometimes the state health dept. has free help to quit smoking - maybe your province does as well? I know you guys have a great healthcare scheme, I am so jealous!!

    Also in our state there is a central number you can call to find out what kinds of help you are eligible for. You might want to look into something similar there.

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    Hi u have already received so much good advice here..I am going to second the health dept..for help with the smoking...hubs got the patch for several months..
    sign your children up for free or reduced lunch and sign up on food stamps if u qualify...
    u have so much room to garden and sale the extra for income summer is boom for yummy veggies......

    wish u much luck.....

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